The immense distance between islands in the Pacific creates challenges for accessing resources, particularly for women. Targeted policies, tailored for their needs, are required.
An anthropologist, international development expert and civil engineer, Ritu works on gender analytical aspects of development projects in the Pacific. She has led several strategic knowledge papers on gender issues in Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa, the Marshall Islands, and the Pacific Islands, as well as ADB’s first innovation marketplace session on Wellbeing and Degrowth: Moving Beyond GDP. Spanning two and a half decades, her professional experience focuses on socio-cultural and political-ecological research on infrastructure, natural resource management, climate change, pastoralism and agriculture in the context of development in the Pacific, Himalayas and East and Southern Africa. Dr. Verma served as Division Head at ICIMOD and has held several senior research positions, including at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture. She is currently Board Member at the Land Portal Foundation.
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By meeting women’s practical and strategic needs, including greater access to water and more influence in decision-making, society overall is improved and made more equitable.